fighting spam and scams on the Internet
"419" Scam – Advance Fee / Fake Lottery Scam
The so-called "419" scam is a type of fraud dominated by criminals from Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Victims of the scam are promised a large amount of money, such as a lottery prize, inheritance, money sitting in some bank account, etc.
Victims never receive this non-existent fortune but are tricked into sending their money to the criminals, who remain anonymous. They hide their real identity and location by using fake names and fake postal addresses as well as communicating via anonymous free email accounts and mobile phones.
Keep in mind that scammers DO NOT use their real names when defrauding people.
The criminals either abuse names of real people or companies or invent names or addresses.
Any real people or companies mentioned below have NO CONNECTION to the scammers!
Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.
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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- This email uses a separate reply address that is different from the sender address. Spammers use this to get replies even when the original spam sending accounts have been shut down. Also, sometimes the sender addresses are legitimate looking but fake and only the reply address is actually an email account controlled by the scammers.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "hundred thousand us dollars" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- This email message is a fake lottery scam. Consider the following facts about real lotteries:
- They don't notify winners by email.
- You can't win without first buying a lottery ticket.
- They don't randomly select email addresses to award prizes to.
- They don't use free email accounts (Yahoo, Hotmail, etc) to communicate with you.
- They don't tell you to call a mobile phone number.
- They don't tell you to keep your winnings secret.
- They will never ask a winner to pay any fees to receive a prize!
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "MRS. BARBARA H"<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 26 Feb 2019 11:14:21 -0800
Subject: FINAL AWARD WINNING PRIZE NOTIFICATION.
AFFILIATED WITH FRANCAISE DES JEUX (LOTTERY).
From: International Award Dept.
Reference Number: FL/1660/015/USA.
Batch Number: FIL/2565845/02-15.EU
Date: 18th Febuary, 2019
FINAL AWARD WINNING PRIZE NOTIFICATION.
We are Pleased to inform you of the result of the French Lotto Promotion Programs held on 30TH, January, 2019. Due to the mix up of numbers and addresses, the results were released on the 18TH, Febuary, 2019. All Participants were selected through a computer ballots system drawn from an exclusive list of 125,000 names of individuals from Asia, Middle East and United States data base. This program was designed to promote and encourage Tourism in our country. Your name entered in the lottery program attached to ticket number 031-1127 with serial number 80745-3 Drew the lucky numbers which consequently won in the 3rd category. You have therefore been approved for a lump sum payment of US$1,660,000.00 (ONE MILLION, SIX HUNDRED AND SIXTY THOUSAND, US DOLLARS ONLY) in a certified bank Check number 008771 Credited to File REF N0: FL/1660/015/UA. This is from a Total Cash Prize of $24,900.000.00 (TWENTY-FOUR MILLION, NINE HUNDRED THOUSAND US DOLLARS ONLY) shared among the Fifteen (15) international winners in this category. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!
Your fund is now deposited with a reliable Bank and insured in your name, with insurance bond policy coverage to avoid any deduction or unexpected litigation. Due to Corruption and mix up of some numbers and names, we ask that you keep this award from public notice until your claim is processed and your winning Prize paid to you, as this is a part of our security protocol to avoid unwarranted taking of advantage of this program by participants. We are compelled to work together with an international reliable Financial Consultant to ensure a transparent claiming process and also to avoid unnecessary delay in release of your winning prize. You are therefore advised to contact our financial consultant in our affiliated office in Spain Mr. Oliver Francis via E-maiI: email@example.com for processing and release of your prize money into your bank account or a Certified Bank Check deliver to your address as stated at the back of this Envelope. You may be required to fly to Paris, and sign the funds release documents and pick up your check or nominate an account for bank wire transfer, if you are not in good condition to fly, liaise immediately with Mr. Oliver Francis for his directives. Remember all prize money must be claimed not later than 10th APRIL, 2019. After this date, all funds will be returned to the ESCROW ACCOUNT of the FRANCAISE DES JEUX (LOTTERY) as unclaimed. NOTE: In order to avoid unnecessary delays and complications, please remember to quote your Reference claim and Check number in every of your correspondence with us or our Financial consultant. Furthermore, should there be any change of your address, do notify Mr. Francis as soon as possible. Congratulations again from all members of our staff and thank you for being a part of our promotion program.
MRS. BARBARA H. VERETOUT